By joe gorman
The police department on Tuesday began a series of patrols on Glenwood Avenue to help cut down on the number of alcohol-related crashes on the street.
Lt. William Ross, head of the department’s Traffic Bureau, said within the past six months, there have been two fatal accidents and one crash with a serious injury on the road, and at least two of those were alcohol related.
The patrols will run the entire length of Glenwood Avenue, from the border with Boardman to where the street ends at Mahoning Avenue.
On the first night of the patrols, officers did stop a car and arrested a driver on a charge of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence.
Ross said tests are pending to determine that person’s alcohol level.
He said the decision was made to have the extra detail after studying crash data with new Chief Robin Lees, who approved the patrols.
Ross said he could not pinpoint one way or another why Glenwood Avenue seems to have its share of bad accidents.
“Through strategic mapping, this is where we are getting an inordinate amount of crashes,” Ross said.
There have been other details run on the street before through the Mahoning County Operating a Vehicle Impaired Task Force, but not for a while, Ross said.
The department is also running other traffic details in other parts of the city, said Ross.
In 2013, the city recorded 10 fatal accidents. Of those 10, at least four involved alcohol, said Patrolman Brian Booksing of the Accident Investigation Unit.
He said tests still are being done on a couple of other cases to determine if alcohol was a factor in those cases.
In 2012, Youngstown had eight traffic deaths, and seven in 2011.